List of Major League Baseball players with a .400 batting average in a season

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A man, wearing a baseball cap and a white baseball uniform with the letter "W" on the left breast, faces forward towards the left.
A man, wearing a baseball cap with the Detroit Tigers' Old English "D" logo in the center and an off-white baseball uniform with obscured lettering, faces forward towards the right.
A man in an off-white jersey and pants, a baseball cap with the letter "B" in the center, and dark baseball socks leans forward holding a baseball bat with both hands.
Ed Delahanty, Ty Cobb, and Rogers Hornsby (left to right) are the only players to record a .400 batting average in three different seasons.

In baseball, batting average (AVG) is a measure of a batter's success rate in achieving a hit during an at bat,[1] and is calculated by dividing a player's hits by his at bats.[2] The achievement of a .400 batting average in a season is recognized as "the standard of hitting excellence",[3] in light of how batting .300 in a season is already regarded as solid.[4][5] Twenty players have recorded a batting average of at least .400 in a single Major League Baseball (MLB) season as of 2016,[A] the last being Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox in 1941.[6] Three players – Ed Delahanty, Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby – have accomplished the feat in three different seasons,[7][8] and no player has ever hit over .440, a single-season record established by Hugh Duffy in 1894.[9] Ross Barnes was the first player to bat .400 in a season, posting a .429 batting average in the National League's inaugural 1876 season.[10][11]

In total, 20 players have reached the .400 mark in MLB history and five have done so more than once. Of these, ten were right-handed batters, nine were left-handed, and one was a switch hitter, meaning he could bat from either side of the plate. Two of these players (Terry and Williams) played for only one major league team, the Philadelphia Phillies are the only franchise to have four different players reach the milestone while on their roster: Delahanty, Billy Hamilton, Sam Thompson, and Tuck Turner, all of whom attained a batting average over .400 during the 1894 season.[12][13] Three players won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the same year as their .400 season.[14] Tip O'Neill, Nap Lajoie, and Hornsby are the only players to have earned the Triple Crown alongside achieving a .400 batting average, leading their respective leagues in batting average, home runs and runs batted in (RBI).[15] Although Shoeless Joe Jackson's .408 batting average in 1911 did not earn him the American League's batting title,[16] it established a major league record for a rookie that stands to this day.[17] Fred Dunlap has the lowest career batting average among players who have batted .400 in a season with .292, while Cobb – with .366 – recorded the highest career average in major league history.[18]

Due to the 75 years that have elapsed since Williams became the last player to achieve the feat and the integral changes to the way the game of baseball is played since then – such as the increased utilization of specialized relief pitchers[19][20] – a writer for The Washington Post called the mark "both mystical and unattainable".[21] Consequently, modern day attempts to reach the hallowed mark by George Brett (.390 in 1980) and Tony Gwynn (.394 in the strike-shortened 1994 season) have generated considerable hype among fans and in the media.[22][23] Of the seventeen players eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame who have batted .400 in a season, fourteen have been elected and two were elected on the first ballot.[24] Players are eligible for the Hall of Fame if they have played in at least 10 MLB seasons, and have either been retired for five seasons or deceased for at least six months.[25] These requirements leave two players ineligible – Barnes and Turner – who did not play in at least 10 seasons.[26][27] Shoeless Joe Jackson is ineligible for the Hall of Fame because he was permanently banned from baseball in 1921 for his involvement in the Black Sox Scandal.[28][29]

Players[edit]

A man with dark hair in a dark baseball cap and a white baseball jersey with "CLEVELAND" on the chest.
Nap Lajoie is one of three players to earn the Triple Crown in addition to batting .400 in the same season.
A man, wearing a grey baseball cap, baseball jersey with "MICHIGAN" on the chest and dark baseball socks, sits on the floor with his legs crossed.
George Sisler achieved the .400 mark and won the MVP Award in 1922.
A man, wearing a white baseball uniform with the words "BOSTON" across his chest obscured, smiles towards the left.
Ted Williams is the last player to post a .400 batting average in a season, achieving the feat in 1941.
Key
Year The year of the player's .400 season
Player (X) Name of the player and number of .400 seasons they had at that point
Team The player's team for his .400 season
NL National League
AL American League
AA American Association
UA Union Association
AVG The player's batting average in that season[B]
Career AVG The player's batting average in his MLB career[B]
§ Denotes batting average that was part of a Triple Crown season
dagger Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
MLB players who have batted .400 in a season
Year Player Team League AVG Career AVG Ref
1876 Barnes, RossRoss Barnes Chicago White Stockings NL .429 .360 [26]
1884 Dunlap, FredFred Dunlap St. Louis Maroons UA .412 .292 [30]
1887 O'Neill, TipTip O'Neill St. Louis Browns AA .435§ .326 [31]
1887 Browning, PetePete Browning Louisville Colonels AA .402 .341 [32]
1894 Duffy, HughHugh Duffydagger Boston Beaneaters NL .440[C] .326 [34]
1894 Turner, TuckTuck Turner Philadelphia Phillies NL .418 .320 [27]
1894 Thompson, SamSam Thompsondagger Philadelphia Phillies NL .415 .331 [33]
1894 Delahanty, EdEd Delahantydagger Philadelphia Phillies NL .404 .346 [35]
1894 Hamilton, BillyBilly Hamiltondagger Philadelphia Phillies NL .403 .344 [36]
1895 Burkett, JesseJesse Burkettdagger Cleveland Spiders NL .405 .338 [37]
1895 Delahanty, EdEd Delahantydagger (2) Philadelphia Phillies NL .404 .346 [35]
1896 Burkett, JesseJesse Burkettdagger (2) Cleveland Spiders NL .410 .338 [37]
1896 Jennings, HughieHughie Jenningsdagger Baltimore Orioles NL .401 .312 [38]
1897 Keeler, WillieWillie Keelerdagger Baltimore Orioles NL .424 .341 [39]
1899 Delahanty, EdEd Delahantydagger (3) Philadelphia Phillies NL .410 .346 [35]
1901 Lajoie, NapNap Lajoiedagger Philadelphia Athletics AL .426§ .338 [40]
1911 Cobb, TyTy Cobbdagger Detroit Tigers AL .420 .366 [41]
1911 Jackson, Shoeless JoeShoeless Joe Jackson Cleveland Naps AL .408 .356 [42]
1912 Cobb, TyTy Cobbdagger (2) Detroit Tigers AL .409 .366 [41]
1920 Sisler, GeorgeGeorge Sislerdagger St. Louis Browns AL .407 .340 [43]
1922 Sisler, GeorgeGeorge Sislerdagger (2) St. Louis Browns AL .420 .340 [43]
1922 Hornsby, RogersRogers Hornsbydagger St. Louis Cardinals NL .401§ .358 [44]
1922 Cobb, TyTy Cobbdagger (3) Detroit Tigers AL .401 .366 [41]
1923 Heilmann, HarryHarry Heilmanndagger Detroit Tigers AL .403 .342 [45]
1924 Hornsby, RogersRogers Hornsbydagger (2) St. Louis Cardinals NL .424 .358 [44]
1925 Hornsby, RogersRogers Hornsbydagger (3) St. Louis Cardinals NL .403§ .358 [44]
1930 Terry, BillBill Terrydagger New York Giants NL .401 .341 [46]
1941 Williams, TedTed Williamsdagger Boston Red Sox AL .406 .344 [47]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Although MLB was founded in its current iteration in 1903, statistics from the National League, American League, American Association, and Union Association that were recorded before that year have been retroactively recognized as major league.
  2. ^ a b Expressed to three significant figures.
  3. ^ According to the Society for American Baseball Research, Duffy is no longer viewed as having won the Triple Crown in 1894 after "modern baseball record revisionists" credited Sam Thompson with six more runs batted in (RBI) than he was originally thought to have amassed.[9] This raises Thompson's season total to 147 RBIs, one more than Duffy.[33]

References[edit]

General

Specific

  1. ^ "Guide to baseball". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved December 1, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Official Rules: 9.21 – Determining Percentage Records" (PDF). MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved October 5, 2016. 
  3. ^ Marshall, Brian. "The Three, or Was It Two, .400 Hitters of 1922". Baseball Research Journal. Society for American Baseball Research. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  4. ^ McNeal, Stan (August 29, 2014). "For major league hitters, .280 is the new .300". USA Today. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  5. ^ Crouch, Ian (September 24, 2014). "The Death of the .300 Hitter". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  6. ^ Dwyre, Bill (September 29, 2011). "This is the way to go out hitting". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 5, 2016. 
  7. ^ Saccoman, John. "Ed Delahanty". The Baseball Biography Project. Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved October 7, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Rogers Hornsby". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved October 7, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Lamb, Bill. "Hugh Duffy". The Baseball Biography Project. Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved October 7, 2016. 
  10. ^ Appel, Marty (March 18, 1999). Slide, Kelly, Slide: The Wild Life and Times of Mike King Kelly. Scarecrow Press. p. 25. ISBN 9781461671206. Retrieved October 5, 2016. 
  11. ^ Willis, Jasmine (November 11, 2015). "The legend the Baseball Hall of Fame forgot". Genesee Country Express. Archived from the original on November 16, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2016. 
  12. ^ Mancuso, Peter. "Tuck Turner's Magical 1894 Phillies Season". The National Pastime. Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved October 7, 2016. 
  13. ^ Shenk, Larry (September 19, 2010). "Profile from the past: Ed Delahanty". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved October 17, 2016. The Phillies' outfield in 1894 had four players that hit .400 or better, Delahanty (.404, 116 games), Thompson (.407, 102 games), Hamilton (.404, 132 games) and Tuck Turner (.416, 82 games). 
  14. ^ "Most Valuable Player MVP Awards & Cy Young Awards Winners". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 7, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Triple Crown Winners". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 5, 2016. 
  16. ^ "1911 AL Batting Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  17. ^ Fleitz, David. "Shoeless Joe Jackson". The Baseball Biography Project. Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Career Leaders & Records for Batting Average". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 5, 2016. 
  19. ^ Pennington, Bill (September 17, 2011). "Ted Williams's .406 Is More Than a Number". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2017. 
  20. ^ Brown, Justin (September 17, 2011). "Why no one bats .400 anymore". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved March 13, 2017. 
  21. ^ Svrluga, Barry (June 20, 2016). "Why batting .400 has become baseball's unhittable benchmark". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 22, 2016. Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  22. ^ Singer, Tom (September 17, 2010). "Summer of .400: Brett looks back 30 years later". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  23. ^ Sanders, Jeff (August 4, 2014). "Gwynn's chase for .400 still revered". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on March 5, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Rules for Election". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  26. ^ a b "Ross Barnes Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  27. ^ a b "Tuck Turner Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  28. ^ Robinson, Mandrallius (September 1, 2015). "Shoeless Joe remains banned from MLB, Hall of Fame". The Greenville News. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  29. ^ "The Chicago Black Sox banned from baseball". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. November 19, 2003. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  30. ^ "Fred Dunlap Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Tip O'Neill Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Pete Browning Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  33. ^ a b "Sam Thompson Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Hugh Duffy Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  35. ^ a b c "Ed Delahanty Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Billy Hamilton Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  37. ^ a b "Jesse Burkett Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  38. ^ "Hughie Jennings Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  39. ^ "Willie Keeler Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  40. ^ "Nap Lajoie Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  41. ^ a b c "Ty Cobb Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  42. ^ "Shoeless Joe Jackson Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  43. ^ a b "George Sisler Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  44. ^ a b c "Rogers Hornsby Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 4, 2016. 
  45. ^ "Harry Heilmann Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 4, 2016. 
  46. ^ "Bill Terry Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 4, 2016. 
  47. ^ "Ted Williams Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 4, 2016.